NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Supergirl” are present in this review
Supergirl hit a fantastic dramatic high point with, “Luthors” last week, which had this week’s belated Valentine’s Day episode left with a pretty tough act to follow. Amazingly though, “Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk” was another smash hit for Supergirl this week, re-focusing on the show’s lighter side to equally impressive effect, as yet another well-known Superman nemesis makes his way to the Supergirl universe to vex Kara.
Mr. Mxyzptlk stands as one of the more bizarre and creatively ambitious foes of the Man of Steel from DC Comics lore, since he essentially has power over reality itself, on account of hailing from the fifth dimension. The only way to banish Mxyzptlk in most accounts of DC lore (though this has been modified in more recent DC Comics stories), is to trick him into saying or writing his name backwards. Yes, seriously. Naturally, this is a very weird character, which is why it’s all the more impressive that he’s been realized so well on Supergirl.
It’s also refreshing to have a Supergirl episode that doesn’t fumble any of its many romantic subplots, since both Alex and Winn also got some great romantic storylines of their own. J’onn doesn’t appear much in this episode, which is surprising, though even his efforts to observe the occasion with M’Gann from a distance are noted, and that’s pretty sweet, even more so since it’s proof that Supergirl isn’t forgetting about Miss Martian with her absence, particularly since this show has already been renewed for a third season in advance.
Most importantly though, guest star, Peter Gadiot fits the role of Mxyzptlk like a glove, and his reality-manipulating mischief is equally as charming as it is inconvenient. The new angle of Mxyzptlk falling in love with Kara and doing everything in his power to force her to marry him also strikes a great balance between the character being dangerous, yet also being undeniably comical. Mon-El serving as a foil only made this end of the character better, particularly as Mxyzptlk’s actions cause very real drama and tension for both Kara and Mon-El, right as they discover their feelings for one another.
On this note, Mon-El immediately wanting to kill Mxyzptlk and be done with it, since Daxam has a bad history with fifth-dimensional beings, made for a great conflict to resolve with Kara, who strictly refuses to hurt Mxyzptlk. Instead, Kara wants to find a non-violent way to banish the trickster, something that she and Mon-El just can’t agree on. It was also appreciated to see how well the episode didn’t just immediately make Mon-El the bad guy here, which it could have easily done if it felt like aiming lower. Instead, Mon-El makes a compelling argument for just killing Mxyzptlk, especially when the citizens of National City are blatantly left in jeopardy by the imp’s powers, which include ‘resurrecting’ a fake incarnation of Parasite. Disappointingly, the Parasite battle is pretty short, but you will nonetheless also want to advocate for Kara, who clearly doesn’t want to compromise her sense of hero ethics by employing lethal force on an especially troublesome villain.
Fortunately, the smart climax resolved everything pretty much perfectly, even lending itself to a decent display of spectacle. After luring Mxyzptlk to the Fortress of Solitude, Kara rejects the imp again, only to then have to fend off the Jor-El statue coming to life! After she deals with that, she then sets the Fortress’ Atomic Cauldron to explode, sealing both herself and Mxyzptlk inside to be immolated, and pretending to hold out, until Mxyzptlk begs for the abort code. After Kara tells Mxyzptlk what to type in with the Kryptonian characters, the detonation is stopped, though the translator soon after reveals that the code, as expected, is ‘KLTPZYXM”, Mxyzptlk’s name spelt backwards. This sends the imp back to the fifth dimension, allowing Kara to solve the situation her way, which was both empowering and satisfying. It was also nice to have her finally get her kiss with Mon-El at the end too, which is long deserved at this point.
As for the other romantic subplots, they were also great, like I said. Alex’s first Valentine’s Day with Maggie is the point where the levity of the episode is offset with some very grounded, believable drama, as Maggie tells Alex that she hates Valentine’s Day, and gets angry when Alex tries to do a big gesture for her anyway. The reveal that Maggie was outed as a lesbian at 14 after a botched Valentine’s Day gesture to a friend, which made her father kick her out and force her to live with her aunt until she was 18, was genuinely tragic and heartbreaking, but it was also a nice twist to finally have Maggie be the one to have to make things up to Alex for a change. Maggie learning to compromise and build a better relationship was illustrated well, and Maggie’s grand gesture to Alex was also pretty awesome, making this a wholly satisfying romantic subplot all around.
Likewise, Winn’s storyline was great, even though it was significantly more light-hearted. After Winn is saved from some thugs at the alien bar by a mysterious alien woman from Starhaven (a planet associated with the Legion of Super-Heroes from DC Comics lore), the alien takes a liking to him, and successfully gets him into bed. Lyra, the alien warrior in question, doesn’t exist in DC Comics lore, but her character makes for a surprisingly smart romantic evolution for Winn. Lyra being surprised that Winn called her again after their hook-up was also a nice bit of vulnerability for an otherwise strong character, and played well into Winn already having fallen for Kara during the events of Season One. Winn has already fallen for an alien, and he doesn’t discriminate when it comes to his own relationship fears. In that respect though, he’s not bothered by Lyra’s appearance, and wants to make it work because he likes her. This was very cool, and Winn having a badass alien girlfriend is something that’s bound to be helpful to the DEO at some point in the future!
“Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk” is a superb Valentine’s Day episode for Supergirl, and a superb episode in general. The distinct, memorable new villain is another of the show’s best baddies to date, and I look forward to his next appearance, whenever that is. It was also awesome to have the show fire on all cylinders with every romantic storyline, rather than feel like it’s creating pointless drama at any instance. In the end, only Alex and Maggie had that dramatic of a story arc, but the drama was very smartly executed, so it felt right. This episode, along with the excellent, “Luthors” from last week and the especially great, “The Martian Chronicles” from the week before, really has Supergirl flying high this February! Hopefully, next week’s episode is another slam dunk, so we can make it a perfect month of season-defining success for Kara!
- Fantastic debut appearance for Mr. Mxyzptlk
- Kara and Mon-El facing their differences and prevailing
- Standout romantic subplots for both Winn and Alex
- Parasite fight is disappointingly short